Belize is currently faced with several critical challenges associated with the production, distribution and use of energy. Despite an abundance of renewable energy resources, the country remains disproportionately dependent on imported fossil fuels, which exposes it to volatile and rising oil prices, limits economic development, and retards its ability to make the investments that are necessary for adapting to climate change, which pose a particularly acute threat to the small island states and low-lying coastal nations of the Caribbean.
This transition from energy consumption and supply patterns that are based on imported fossil fuels and electricity towards a more sustainable energy economy that is based on environmentally benign, indigenous renewable energy technologies and more efficient use of energy requires concerted action as the country is already challenged by limited fiscal space which reduces its ability to provide some fiscal incentives, which have been proven to be effective tools for the promotion of sustainable energy markets in a number of countries.
This report identifies the fiscal and regulatory barriers to implementation of energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies in Belize. Data and information were derived from stakeholder consultations conducted within the country. The major result of the assessment is that the transition of policies and plans into tangible action needs to be increased. In this regard, it is necessary to articulate sub-policies of the National Energy Policy to amend the Public Utilities Commission Act, to develop a grid interconnection policy, to establish minimum energy performance standards for buildings and equipment and to develop a public procurement policy.
Finally, decisions on renewable energy and energy efficiency-related incentives from the Government formally requires decision-makers to solve what may be extremely complex optimization problems in order to obtain the lowest-cost provision of energy services to society, thereby weighing the cost of revenue losses with the benefits of fuel and infrastructure expansion savings. The establishment of a management system that is efficient, flexible, and transparent, which will facilitate the implementation of the strategic objectives and outputs in the time available, with the financial resources allocated is recommended. Support is required for additional institutional and capacity strengthening.